Committee to consider Oklahoma fuel tax bill

| 4/18/2003

A bill calling for a statewide election to determine whether voters approve of raising diesel and gasoline taxes to aid the state's highway system is headed to a joint House-Senate conference committee.

House lawmakers April 14 rejected a Senate amendment that would have set the stage for sending the bill to the secretary of state for an election date, The Oklahoman reported.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Larry Ferguson, R-Cleveland, moved to reject the amendment. He said later that while the Senate thought the question was ready to go to voters, House members had a different opinion.

“Yeah, they thought the bill was ready … Ready to go to the trash can,” Ferguson told the newspaper.

HB1385 would raise the diesel tax from 14 to 22 cents a gallon and the gasoline tax from 17 to 22 cents a gallon. The state reportedly would receive $145 million annually from the tax increases.

If approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor, the proposal would go before the public in the November 2004 general election.